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Glufosinate tolerance cleared for Enlist soybean stack

Canadian regulators have approved Dow AgroSciences to build the trait stack even higher in the company’s Enlist soybean product line.

Though Canadian soy growers shouldn’t expect a commercial release until at least 2015, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada have approved the company’s Enlist E3 soybeans, featuring a trait stack that confers tolerance to 2,4-D, glyphosate and, now, glufosinate.

Glufosinate is the Group 10 (glutamine synthetase inhibitor) herbicide best known as the active ingredient in Bayer CropScience’s Liberty product line.

Dow’s partner in developing and licensing the E3 trait is Iowa-based seed firm MS Technologies, which worked with Bayer to launch LibertyLink herbicide-tolerant soybeans in 2009.

The E3 molecular stack “brings all three herbicide tolerances (together) via a single transgenic event, presenting a unique advantage for customers of Dow AgroSciences, MS Technologies and future licensees,” Dow Agro and MS said in a release Wednesday.

Because the E3 trait is a single genetic event, the companies said, “breeding efforts can quickly advance superior performing soybean seeds for farmers.”

Dow Agro and MS said Wednesday they expect a commercial launch for Enlist E3 soybeans in 2015 “contingent on approvals in key export geographies.”

The company added it’s now also seeking cultivation registrations for the Enlist E3 trait in the U.S., Brazil and other South American countries.

E3 was submitted to U.S. regulators for approval in August 2011 and, as of last December, was expected to be approved for a commercial launch in the U.S. in 2015.

“Out of respect”

The original 2,4-D-and-glyphosate-tolerant Enlist corn and soybean traits were approved in Canada for food, feed, and environmental release last October, but also have yet to be released.

Dow Agro said earlier this year it expects to commercially launch the original Enlist-trait soybeans for growers in Canada in 2015, to make sure approvals are first secured to export the beans to markets such as China.

The original Enlist traits also haven’t yet received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nor that country’s Environmental Protection Agency.

From an export marketing standpoint, if Enlist products were released in Canada before U.S. approvals are obtained, Canadian growers could be left unable to ship their Enlist corn south — although the bulk of Canadian corn is consumed domestically, either by livestock or in ethanol production.

Dow Agro previously said it was monitoring the approval process for the corn trait in the U.S. “as we move to a final commercialization timing decision in Canada out of respect for movement of grain between the two countries.”

Dow Agro had also said previously it would not release its Enlist seed products in Canada until its Enlist Duo herbicide, combining 2,4-D and glyphosate, received approval. That approval, from Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), was granted last month.

The company said in May it plans to ramp up both its Enlist seed production and its supplies of Enlist Duo while “working with regulatory agencies in key export geographies to advance commercialization of Enlist corn and soybeans in Canada.” — Network

Related story:
Dow may hold back Enlist corn in Canada, Jan. 23, 2013

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